John Keeler Mitchell


Boy writer, train freak, baseball nut and movies guy. On the heels of too many years in aerospace putting words in the mouths of the movers and shakers, I now hit the keyboard for the people. Writing has become fun and constantly new.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
Let me mention the last two.

First, I guess you could consider "Somewhere Children Shout" as a "first act" memoir. There's a lot more to come. But my early years had a certain charm, something of an old school feel. It struck me a few years ago that life was definitely complete without the burden of today's technology; we really didn't feel like we were missing anything. And more, life was more personal, and I should say more tactile. Back in the day, kids would stand outside your house and call for you to come out and terrorize the planet. Even making a phone call was rare.

As kids, my brothers and I were encouraged to innovate and build. Re-enacting, say, WWII or the Korean War was aided by weapons that we fashioned from wood and "fired" by shouting "Bam, bam!" and other convincing sounds.

And as I describe in the book on many occasions, the scale of life was small: small town, small school, small aspirations. Together, they were an easy fit. Notwithstanding, there were trying times, but the scale made them manageable. Of considerable impact, yes, but not even close to life and death. And looking back, we were always on the cusp of fun.

Second, and the very latest, "When You Run" might easily have been called "The Boomers' War," since unlike American wars, the fighting was largely handled by the children of WWII vets. But that would not have been the point of the narrative. The story concerns people who are swept up by the war, but very far from the battlefields per se. The context -- to my knowledge -- has not been dealt with in such a manner. Then, too, as a boomer, it was "our" war, so the choices and results were more personal. Not that I ever hot-footed it to Canada, but it was an option that many decided to use. So, of course, it came to mind to imagine what might happen to a couple who did. "When You Run" is the result.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having written. Well, and there's more. While there's a fair amount of time staring at the screen...let me add this -- a favorite cartoon: a guy is sitting in the next room, staring at his typewriter, even as his wife stands, hands on hips, staring at the guy, and he says, "Just because I'm not writing doesn't mean I'm not writing!" It can be that way. Who knows? It could be that the ratio of thinking about what to say to actually putting words on the screen is on the order of six or seven to one. Could be. But the reward -- or "joy" if you insist -- is a couple of paragraphs that really sing, to the point where you say, "Wow! Did I just write that?!'
Read more of this interview.

Where to find John Keeler Mitchell online


Somewhere Children Shout
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 52,360. Language: English. Published: November 4, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Somewhere Children Shout takes you back to the life of a kid in the Catskills in the 1950s, a candid look at growing up in a town with one traffic light, and where picking up a bottle of milk had to be postponed until Monday. But for a kid in the fifth grade it was pretty close to perfect, a time and place for discovery.
Zephyr Again!
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 30,730. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor and satire
We’re back! Zephyr Again! brings together more than 40 choice selections from the blog Zephyr, now into its third year of publication. Featuring a cool look at the world around us, with wit and wisdom, Zephyr reaches a loyal readership in the U.S. and Europe. Here in a single sampler, each selection is just long enough to romp through while you wait for the kids to clear out of the bathroom.

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